The UK’s cybersecurity landscape is rapidly evolving, with a heightened demand for skilled professionals. Recent reports have brought attention to this urgent need. The “Cyber Security Skills in the UK Labour Market 2023” report, published by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, provides a comprehensive analysis of cybersecurity skills in the UK.. According to the report, around 50% of UK businesses face a shortage of basic cybersecurity skills, while 33% struggle with lack of advanced skills.  Moreover, the report highlights the rising demand for cybersecurity skills as businesses increasingly rely on digital technologies.

Additionally, the UK Cyber Security Sectoral Analysis 2023 builds upon previous analyses, offering an in-depth understanding of the UK’s cybersecurity industry and its dynamic, rapidly changing nature.

The Cyber Skills Report from The Institution of Analysts and Programmers supports these findings, emphasising that the skills gap is particularly noticeable in small businesses and specific sectors such as the public sector and financial services. The report also highlights the shortage of cybersecurity professionals in the UK, estimating a deficit of over 11,000 individuals.

BIT Training’s Strategic Role in Addressing the Skills Gap

In this dynamic landscape, BIT Training emerges as a crucial player, addressing the cybersecurity skills gap through innovative and collaborative apprenticeship programs. We are thrilled to introduce our new and enhanced Cyber Security Technician Level 3 and Cyber Security Technologist Level 4 apprenticeship programmes, in partnership with EC-Council. These programmes serve as a bridge, meeting the evolving needs of the UK’s cybersecurity sector.

Our innovative ‘Embed, Develop, Extend’ delivery model ensures that apprentices spend the first half of their programme following a curriculum designed to fully integrate the knowledge they need to succeed in their roles while gaining valuable workplace experience. During the second half of their programme, they focus on further developing their skills, ensuring that they possess not only knowledge but also practical abilities to excel in their careers. Additional resources and experiences are incorporated  into the programme to enhance  an apprentice’s capability in the workplace.

BIT Training’s apprenticeship programmes closely align with WorldSkills UK’s commitment to elevating the standard of technical education and apprenticeships. Through our collaboration, we uphold WorldSkills UK’s dedication to excellence and global best practices in skills development. Our programmes, which emphasise cutting-edge cybersecurity training and internationally recognised certifications, make significant contributions to the national and global skills landscape championed by WorldSkills UK. This partnership underscores our shared goal of empowering the next generation of cybersecurity professionals with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in a competitive global economy.

The Pioneering Partnership with EC-Council

A notable aspect of our approach is our partnership with EC-Council. BIT Training has earned the distinction of becoming EC-Council’s first-ever Corporate Academic Partner. This partnership has led to the development of the Cyber Security Technician Level 3 and Cyber Security Technologist Level 4 apprenticeship programmes, incorporating EC-Council’s esteemed certifications into the curriculum.

At Level 3, our apprentices gain valuable insights and practical skills, complemented by certifications such as Network Defense Essentials (N|DE), Ethical Hacking Essentials (E|HE), and Certified Cybersecurity Technician (C|CT). These certifications enhance their employability and prepare them for various entry-level cybersecurity positions.

Level 4 takes our apprentices to a higher level of expertise, incorporating certifications like Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Certified Cloud Security Engineer (C|CSE), and the coveted Certified SOC Analyst (C|CSA) certification. This comprehensive approach ensures that our apprentices emerge from the programme not only with a deep understanding of cybersecurity but also with the ability to strategies and respond effectively to cyber threats.

Benefits for Employers Engaging with BIT Training and EC-Council Apprenticeships

For employers within the cybersecurity sector, engaging with BIT Training’s apprenticeship programmes in collaboration with EC-Council offers a strategic advantage. These programmes produce apprentices with a strong foundational knowledge of cybersecurity principles and specialised skills through EC-Council’s globally recognised certifications. By hiring apprentices trained under this partnership, employers can onboard individuals who are not only theoretically proficient but also possess practical skills in handling real-world cyber threats. This positions organisations to build resilient cybersecurity teams capable of adapting to the rapidly evolving cyber landscape. Employers also benefit from the fresh perspectives and up-to-date techniques apprentices bring, ensuring that their cybersecurity strategies remain agile and forward-thinking.

The Larger Context

As we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, it is crucial to recognise the collaboration between BIT Training and EC-Council. We are not simply addressing the current cybersecurity skills gap; we are paving the way for a more secure digital future. In a world increasingly reliant on technology, the importance of practical education and hands-on training cannot be overstated. For aspiring cybersecurity professionals and forward-thinking employers, these programmes offer more than just education; they provide a pathway to a more secure digital landscape.

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